"La misma realidad de cada lugar es diferente" ("The same reality of each place is different"): A Case Study of an Organic Farmers Market in Lima, Peru
Keywords:Farmers Market, Organic Agriculture, Alternative Food Networks, Peru
AbstractStudies of alternative food networks have proliferated in Europe and North America while relatively little attention has been paid to similar networks in the global South. An organic farmers market in Lima, Peru, serves as a case study to examine developments in the domestic market for organic produce in Peru. Drawing from interview data and participant observations with pioneering organic farmers and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) affiliated with the farmers market, this paper investigates how the context of a developing country reaffirms and/or challenges alternative food network (AFN) conceptualizations derived from Northern research sites. The aim of this research is to expand our understanding of alternative food networks in a global context. Findings suggest that while the farmers market in Peru replicates many challenges and opportunities ascribed to similar market-based initiatives in the global North, the developing country context encourages a different reading of these similarities. This exploratory examination of an AFN in Peru suggests that this organic farmers market has created novel economic opportunities for ecologically minded entrepreneurs and organic farmers in rural communities far from the point of sale. Although constrained by a relatively small demographic of affluent, conscientious consumers, the organic market demonstrates the potential to improve rural livelihoods while raising consumer awareness about the benefits of organic agriculture.
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